Overcoming Job Loss


An individual’s career develops through several stages from early career stage to late career stage. As one develops through the stages, different strengths and assets are acquired.  At the face of job loss, the individuals at the early career stage are less affected as compared to the others who have acquired connections and networks. However, strategies such as joining support groups and seeking professional help can help one overcome the loss.


The development of career has stages mostly based on the number of years. A 60 years old person is not at the same career stage as a 20 years old person. The two people have different roles both socially and career wise. In addition, in the face of a job loss, the two people will respond differently and requires to be handled differently in counseling. Vocational counseling was formed on the basis that individuals are different in strengths and assets (Sharf, 2016). Currently, the practice of career counseling includes an effort to understand the individual traits, motives, aspirations, personal concerns, career, and preferred lifestyle. The individual concerns determine the purpose and the content of the intervention strategies.

In the last few years, a lot of research has been done and published on the multicultural counseling. Much of the research has focused on developing new procedures to meet the needs of the diverse society culturally. Individuals from different culture backgrounds develop a different set of values shaped by their unique environment (Sharf, 2016).  A good example is career choices, which can be driven by family goals as opposed to personal aspirations or individual accomplishment.

Career Development Stages

Career development occurs through several stages. The first stage is the early stage of career development. The early stage begins when one starts to search for a first job. It involves learning the job, acceptance by peers, and gaining the first success or failure in the real world. This stage begins with anxieties, risks, and uncertainties. The stage is also marked by mistakes and learning from such mistakes (Sharf, 2016). Individuals at this stage are yet to achieve a productivity peak, and it is rare to get a career with power and high status. Peter aged 20 years is at this stage of life. There are many uncertainties facing Peter.

The next career development stage is middle career stage. For most individuals, they face their first career dilemma at this stage. Individuals at this stage continue in improving their performance or ideally begin to deteriorate. At this stage, an individual is expected to have moved to worker status from apprenticeship. Those who improve in performance at this stage graduate to higher responsibilities and more rewards as others change jobs, priorities, or lifestyles (Sharf, 2016). Angela aged 40 years is at this stage of career.

The next career stage is late career stage. For individuals who experience growth at the middle career stage, the late career stage is a pleasant time, and an individual is allowed to relax and enjoy some luxuries (Sharf, 2016). It is the time where an employee can enjoy the respect of young employees. Individuals at this stage have nothing more to learn career wise and so teach other employees. Joe aged 60 years is at this stage of career development.

Role Change in Job Loss

After losing a job, individuals in the different career stages will experience role changes. Peter is at the early stage of career development. Being 20 years old, it is expected that he just acquired his first big job (Brand, 2015). It is easier for an individual in this stage to acquire a new job after a job loss. It is also easier to change careers at this stage given that not much has been learned about the current career. Joe has the chance to change career, abandon employment or search for a new job. Being new in the career world, it can be expected that Joe has not developed networks. Except for the salary, Joe has nothing much to lose after the job loss. If Joe was dependent on himself, he could go back to depending on Angela. To help with the changes, Joe can join a job seekers support group and get any professional help when needed.

Angela is at the middle career stage. At this stage, Angela has learned a lot and has improved regarding performance. Losing the job at age 40 can be tricky. Combined with family responsibilities, Angela is at a stage where career means everything. At her age depending on other people for financial and other assistance can be stressful. For Angela, she is at a high risk of acquiring stress or depression. She will lose a lot regarding connections, networks, finances, lifestyle, and bonds with peers (Brand, 2015). From being a dependent woman, Angela can result to depending on other people. To help with the changes, Angela should seek professional help from a career counselor to avoid consequences such as depression. In addition, joining a support group would be advisable for Angela to cope with the loss.

Joe is 60 years old and thus at the late career stage. At this stage, Joe has acquired many networks in his career. An individual at this stage is a master of the specific career and engaging in another career is hard. In addition, acquiring a new job in the specific career is a challenge. Considering that Joe had acquired depression at the age of 40, there is a high chance for it to reoccur. Joe should seek help from a professional in overcoming the job loss. Losing his daily routine at his age is harmful not only physically but also emotionally.


To assess the impact of the job loss on Peter, looking at the changes in personal traits would be the best assessment. Peter is young and open to other ideas apart from employment. I n addition, he is in a better position to acquire a new job. Based on his personal traits and family influences, Peter may behave differently. Angela, on the other hand, should be assessed based on her mental well-being. Losing her job after at a middle career stage is not only disastrous but can lead to problems such a depression (Zunker, 2016). Assessing her individual well-being would be the best assessment criteria. For Joe, he has a history of depression. With the job loss, it can be expected that depression will reoccur. Assessing him based on the depression is the best assessment criteria.


Losing a job after undergoing the career development stages can lead to several problems. Depending on career stage at the time of layoff, one can become depressed and stressed. However, there are strategies one can use to overcome the shock of layoff including joining support groups and seeking professional help.

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